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IELTS Writing Sample #23

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Going overseas for university study is an exciting prospect for many people. But while it may offer some advantages, it is probably better to stay home because of the difficulties a student inevitably encounters living and studying in a different culture.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer.

You should write at least 250 words.

model answer:

There is no doubt that going to study in a foreign country, with its different language and culture, can be a frustrating and sometimes painful experience. But while overseas study has its drawbacks, the difficulties are far outweighed by the advantages. Indeed, people who go abroad for study open themselves up to experiences that those who stay at home will never have.

The most obvious advantage to overseas university study is real-life use of a different language. While a person can study a foreign language in his or her own country, it cannot compare with constant use of the language in academic and everyday life. There is no better opportunity to improve second-language skills than living in the country in which it is spoken. Moreover, having used the language during one's studies offers a distinct advantage when one is applying for jobs back home that require the language.

On a university campus, the foreign student is not alone in having come from far away. He or she will likely encounter many others from overseas and it is possible to make friends from all around the world. This is not only exciting on a social level, but could lead to important overseas contacts in later professional life.

Finally, living and studying abroad offers one a new and different perspective of the world and, perhaps most important, of one's own country. Once beyond the initial shock of being in a new culture, the student slowly begins to get a meaningful understanding of the host society. On returning home, one inevitably sees one's own country in a new, often more appreciative, light.

In conclusion, while any anxiety about going overseas for university study is certainly understandable, it is important to remember that the benefits offered by the experience make it well worthwhile.

(301 words)


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